brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Parse Tree parsetree at
Tue Jul 16 17:12:55 EST 2002

"Bob LeChevalier" <lojbab at> wrote in message
news:1r29juoo3gemu6n3mptr3k0iu79hnhs0b5 at
> "Parse Tree" <parsetree at> wrote:
> >"Bob LeChevalier" <lojbab at> wrote in message
> >news:bs88jusrrcsdpsd0akq414c1ba0ui3q7sb at
> >> "Parse Tree" <parsetree at> wrote:
> >> >The SATs are not well constructed.  Generally, guessing penalties
> >> >work, and there are numerous reasons for this.  Firstly, guessing
> >> >rely on a completely random selection, which is rarely the case.
> >>
> >> Any improvement you can make on random selection reflects some sort of
> >> knowledge or logic.
> >
> >Yes.  But not necessarily good knowledge.
> There is such a thing as bad knowledge, if it leads to the correct answer?

I was agreeing that knowledge can help, but I was stating that incorrect
knowledge can hinder.  It is 'bad'.

> >Note, for the translation question I would have simply written the
> >The question is quite trivial, and simple arithmetic should never have to
> >shown.
> Yet large numbers of students got it wrong.  If you put down the correct
> number with no work on that one, you may have gotten full credit.  But if
> made an arithmetic mistake, you got no credit.  Since the question was not
> arithmetic question, I would hate to have my success on the question
> by the correctness of my mental arithmetic.

Actually, it was an arithmetic question.  Nothing more than simple addition
and subtraction.

It didn't even have fractions.  Definitely of the elementary school level.

> >> Not in mathematics and science, which is culture-free (in theory).  But
> >> the answers and codings above.
> >
> >Science is not culture free.  The questions use metric for one, which as
> >as I know is not taught in the US.
> Of course it is.  Science education in the US *ONLY* uses metric these
> Furthermore, metric IS fundamental to the international standards of
> If you don't know metric, you don't know science.

Oh, you use it now?  It's about time.  Regardless, science isn't actually
dependent on metric.  The units of measure are quite arbitrary.

> >> If they get the wrong answer and don't show their work, then they were
> >> falsely overconfident.
> >
> >Not if the mistake is in work that they do show.
> If that is the case then it can be seen.

Do they get marks for work with no correct answer?  I was under the
impression they did not.

> >> More importantly, to the extent that memorization is required, it is
> >> equally of all kids, so this does not invalidate the international
> >> comparison.  Cultural differences may affect the scores, but that is
> >> precisely the sort of thing that TIMSS was intended to detect - is that
> >> something about American (or whatever) culture or education that aids
> >> harms ability to solve the problems.
> >>
> >> We came up short, but the nincompoop's explanations have nothing to do
> >> the problem.
> >
> >The problem is that memorization does not necessarily correlate with
> >intelligence.
> So?  Neither TIMSS nor the SAT purport to be intelligence tests.  The
> nincompoop seems to think they are, if it can be said that the nincompoop
> "thinks" at all.

I'll take it your not in agreement with him for that point.

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